Defense Takes Essential Step to Reactivate the 8x8 Program
(Source: Spanish Ministry of Defence; issued May 13, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
The Spanish ministry of defense has approved the production of 348 VCR 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle program by a new joint venture company that will retain design authority in Spain and guarantee a local work-share of at least 70%. (Spanish MoD photo)
The [Spanish] Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, under Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, has signed the commitment that will allow the incorporation of a joint venture company formed by the Spanish companies Indra Sistemas S.A., Santa Bárbara Sistemas S.A., Sapa Placencia S.L. and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering S.L., for the sole purpose of executing the Vehículos de Combate sobre Ruedas (VCR) 8x8 program.

After this signature, a tender period begins with the intention that said contract can be signed during the third quarter of 2020.

The proposal of these companies satisfies the requirements of the Spanish Army, by allowing to retain the design authority in Spain and favor a high participation of the national industry in a percentage not less than 70%.

The industrial plan of this program is going to have very positive effects on the national economy, having special incidence in Asturias, Seville, Guipúzcoa and Madrid, where the creation of 650 direct jobs and another 1,000 indirect jobs is expected.

In addition, this solution also guarantees the maintenance of the 8x8 "Dragon," facilitating the control of obsolescence and the future incorporation of improvements to the vehicle as well as an important workload for the national industry throughout its life cycle, that will be less than 40 years.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Spanish government in December 2019 canceled a €2.083 billion contract previously awarded to the Santa Barbara Sistemas unit of General Dynamics European Land Systems for the production of 348 Piranha 5 wheeled armored vehicles, having decided that Santa Barbara’s final offer was “not admissible” for technical, operational and economic reasons.
The new contract, which should be awarded this year to the new joint venture company, which will also be tasked with the international marketing of the VCR.)


Indra, Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Sapa and Escribano Authorized by the Ministry of Defense to Create A Company to Execute the VCR 8x8 Program
(Source: Indra; issued May 13, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
Indra Sistemas, Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Sapa Placencia and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering will constitute a company that will be in charge of executing the VCR 8x8 Program, after the Ministry of Defense signed the decision that allows the constitution of said company.

This will deal with the supply of 348 8x8 Wheeled Combat Vehicles (VCR), as well as their maintenance and support during their life cycle and their international marketing. These vehicles will be delivered within an estimated seven years from the signing of the Program Agreement.

Through this partnership, the four companies aim to satisfy all the operational objectives, and respond to all the needs of the Army and the Ministry of Defense so that the VCR 8x8 Program can become a driving force of national industry. Along these lines, the development of this program involves an ambitious national Industrial Plan, which facilitates maintaining the design authority in Spain, and favors a high participation of the national industry, to a percentage not less than 70%.

The program will have a special impact in Asturias, Seville, Guipúzcoa and Madrid, where it is expected to create 650 direct and another 1,000 indirect jobs.

The program will additionally generate industrial property for national industry and will allow national sovereignty to be maintained over a product that represents an essential capability for national defense.

Indra is an international leader in the Defense industry for the development of critical projects for the national defense of the countries for which it works, for its participation in major European programs and in the framework of NATO and its export capacity, and the Spanish national industrial coordinator in the European Defense Program FCAS. At the end of 2019, Indra had revenues of 3,204 million euros, more than 49,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and commercial operations in more than 140 countries.

Santa Bárbara Sistemas SA, part of the General Dynamics European Land Systems group, is a Spanish company based in Madrid and close to 1,000 highly qualified workers who design, manufacture, integrate and maintain combat systems, including ground platforms for chains and wheels, as well like artillery systems.

The objective of SAPA Placencia in this project is to transform leadership into knowledge, into global-business leadership, positioning itself as a technological benchmark in vehicle mobility. For this, it has a great human team at its facilities in Andoain and Madrid (Spain), as well as in Detroit (USA).

Escribano M&E, a national company with technological capabilities, development and manufacturing engineering for the full development of Remote Weapons Stations, Electro-Optical Systems and guided ammunition kits. Escribano M&E is committed to innovation and investment in cutting-edge and dual-use technologies.


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